Music Reviews



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Artist: Things Outside the Skin (@)
Title: You Knew It All Along
Format: CD
Label: Facility records
Rated: *****
Brooklyn experimental music project Things Outside The Skin are back with a new full lenght CD that represents a definite evolution and improvement over their previous, more dark, release. "You Knew It All Along" packs together twenty-three tracks of cutting edge aggro-electronica that mixes together experimental vibes, aggressive electronic music, aggro-industrial attitude and mechanical noises, all complemented by a refreshing and intelligent political punk attitude... The band reminds me of australians Eye, but if you don't remember them, you might thing of T.O.T.S. as a well mixed cocktail of Skinny Puppy, Pop Will Eat Itself, Consolidated, Godflesh, Sloppy Wrenchbody, Flugschadel, Headcrash, Ministry and other similar bands. All these comparisons are very fitting, for one reason or another, and it's up to you to find out how these influences are mixed together. A good occasion for that, would be their visually-enhanced live shows. If you don't live in NYC, they'll be on tour in November to support the release of this record. Don't miss out.
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: Crash01 - Crash Frequency Compilation Vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: Crash Frequency (@)
Rated: *****
Crash Frequency is the name of a new community of bands out of Down Under, Australia. Force through unity, so could maybe the motto sound. It is target to help each out, sharing opportunities, organizing gigs, doing promotion – simply to speak with a mighty voice of a whole Electro/Industrial scene – no matter if and where the bands are signed or not. So this 10 tracks represented by the members of this community is a first mutual sign of life, I must say, a musically very diverse one. ANGELSPIT, opener on this comp and a driving force of this community start with a danceable, classic Industrial inspired track, distorted female vocals and some guitar riffs, comparable somehow with an act like MMTM. ANGEL THEORY is surely one of the most acclaimed and known act here, signed to Australia’s Ground Under Productions, and here present with a good remix done by New Zealand’s THE MERCY CAGE (signed now to DSBP) of their track "Ease the Pain". Next remarkable piece comes from THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT which combine beautiful female vocals with Electro and some Trip-Hop elements. Globally nice done and finally no wonder, that the Polish label Black Flames picked them up. Australia’s Gothic-Rock legend IKON is also available here and can satisfy with good vocals and a rich amount of electronics. LUX VOLTAIRE prove that there is enough humor in Down Under with a track name in German "Ich liebe mein Oberheim" – well, music seems to produced with synths of this manufacturer. Best track to me – obviously following trendy hypes like Futurepop – is the piece of RESURRECTION EVE, also signed to Ground Under Productions. Well worked out sequences, no minimal structures, good vocals made an easy to following track of this mentioned genre which deserves a wider recognition. Also TANKT offer a good and diverse piece with "Bush on Fire" – be sure that they do not referring on forest fire. Unfortunately this comp stops after 10 tracks and almost 49 minutes. I can see on the members list that there are a lot of more bands involved, and especially my personal favorite STARK is missed hard here. Anyhow, there are a lot of different music styles here and a nice proof of activity and life still to come from Down Under. Next releases in co-operation of this community are already in plans, look out for this comp as well as for new releases by ANGEL SPIT, TANKT, IKON or THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT.

Track listing:

1.ANGELSPIT – Head Kult (Head Fuck Mix)
2.ANGEL THEORY – Ease the Pain (Placebo Mix by THE MERCY CAGE)
3.THE BOM – Machine Men
4.THE CRYSTALLINE EFFECT – Why Do I Hate Myself?
5.DANDELION WINE – Begin Journey (Rejiggered)
6.DOMINO THEORY – Kill You
7.IKON – Psychic Vampire
8.LUX VOLTAIRE – Ich liebe mein Oberheim (Electrolux Mix)
9.RESURRECTION EVE – Wine
10.TANKT – Bush on Fire (John Von Ahlen’s Leather Mask Mix)

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Artist: P24 (@)
Title: Weit entfernt
Format: CD
Label: Calyx Records (@)
Distributor: Nova Media
Rated: *****
Behind this modest name we have a duo which hails from Berlin and Schwedt, Germany, and consists of Daniel Lemke (music) and Rico Ferenc Piller (vocals), who was active in a well known band like D.-PRESSIV (3 albums released on Maschinenwelt...r.i.p.). P24 are producing music somewhere between Synth- and Future-Pop with some harder efforts up to EBM. Extraordinary is the fact that all of their lyrics are written and sung in German – you won’t find any English lyrics here. This debut CD offers 5 original tracks plus tons of remix works by more (HAUJOBB or Marc Werner of SABOTAGE) or lesser (their label comrades of FP or ORPHEÉ for example) known acts – so in all 14 tracks and a long playing time with more than 73 minutes. With the exception of the German vocals you wont find too much surprises here, because musically the band follows similar ideas and styles like big names out of the Futurepop-genre have already presented. I wouldn’t count this a flaw, moreover I would say that the vocals could need some refreshing production. I like really the sound of the vocals but a bit lesser use of reverb effects on it could help. So it is no wonder, that he best and strongest moments this duo offers with melodic refrain of "Offenheit". Best track overall is to my taste the melancholic remix of the track "Niemand", done by Nico of CONDITION ONE. This is indeed a decent debut, which seems to get some interest in Poland (a little wonder, as I said, they sing in German...) in the official charts. Well, good luck to the next superstars...
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Artist: VV.AA. (@)
Title: SIGNS Sampler
Format: CD
Label: Aliens Production (@)
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
Folded in a paper booklet with an excellent artwork comparable with some works of Ant-Zen, here comes the newest release by the Slovakian label Aliens Productions, home of the great and well known act DISHARMONY. This compilation unites 12 more or less known bands out of the Dark Electro/Industrial and Ambient genre hailing mainly from Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Two "guests" which became friends of the label in the years are also present here with the German Dark Ambient artist POLYGON, solo effort of Ingo Lindmaier (MORTAL CONSTRAINT), and the French Ambient/Powernoise act FLINT GLASS leaded by Gwen Tremorin, who is also behind the label Brume Records. So musically you get a fine collection of dark and less danceable music stuff which will give you an up to date overview about the currently rising scene in both brother countries. What makes this release worthfull is the fact that all music here is currently only available here, so you get some previously unreleased and exclusive stuff from already known acts like DISHARMONY (new CD is out now in co-operation between Aliens Production and Monopolrecords from Czech Republic), TERMINAL STATE (released a debut in co-operation between Aliens Production and the German label Broken Seal three years ago and seem now to work on a comeback...), OXYD (the more Ambient-like side-project of DISHARMONY, debut CD is now out...) or the great Czech Electro/Industrial act DEPRESSIVE DISORDER (outstanding debut on Monopolrecords). Make your contacts out to Aliens Production to purchase this fine release. I am really looking forward to hear more dark music hailing from Eastern Europe...

Track listing:

1. ANIMA MUNDI – Oscillate
2. SAMHAIN – Subsist
3. FLINT GLASS – Deliverance
4. DISHARMONY – Repulse
5. VORTEX – Illusions
6. TERMINAL STATE – Systematic Failure
7. MINDMAP – Akusia
8. GAPING CHASM – Only Shadows will Survive
9. OXYD – Empathic Clone
10. DEPRESSIVE DISORDER – Schizophrenia
11. TENSION – Room No. 5
12. POLYGON – Wo a

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Artist: GRANUFUNK
Title: self-titled
Format: CD
Label: Sonic 360 (@)
Rated: *****
This downloadable release is surprisingly good, think of that cool electronica you listened while attending festivals like "La Route du rock" or "Benicassim" and you'll get what I mean. Granufunk resemble an easy-listening version of the oldest Mouse on Mars (honestly just for the rhythms and the beat they use) married with Saint Etienne, or think of the sweetest artists on Kitty-Yo with their most gentle melancholic melodies. North european electronica with a soft touch, a good juxtaposition between the minimalist melodies and the complicated (but never exaggerated) rhythms is barely audible while getting lulled by the songs. A cocktail-lounge aftertaste comes from some of the keyboards or by those "bossa nova" reinterpretations, and this drink...yes...somehow it's a mittle-european one for sure. Lyrics and titles are both in english and in german while most of the songs remain without vocals. Poppy electronica? uh...yes and with a great atmosphere, fro exemple it's hard to resist to hits such as like "Big city light" and "Jimmy Brown", I don't think I'd be surprised if we should see Granufunk listed by some Idm chart. "Tres bien...tres bien!".
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